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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas List Roundup

As I'm sure many of you could guess, my Christmas list is composed almost entirely of books. The rest is composed of fierce desire for a Sony ebook reader. They're so pretty and neat! I want one. I'm hoping Santa has been paying attention this year because I'm awesome.


There are a ton of books I am looking at.

Additionally, these books would make superfantasticcooltacular Christmas presents for other people.

For example: Alberto Manguel wrote a book called The Library at Night (which I blogged about over the summer and which gave me the inspiration for my second tattoo, should I ever decide to get it*). He has another book out called A History of Reading, and it looks just as fabulous as TLaN, so I'm hoping that one shows up.

Richard Dawkins is an author I used to complain about vociferously, until I read his books with a lot less animosity going into the process. I came to (begrudgingly) respect and, eventually genuinely admire him. His latest book is called The Greatest Show on Earth, and I'm really interested in checking it out. I read The God Delusion for the first time straight through -I've read pieces before -and found myself enjoying it much more than my previous read. He's a funny, smart, persuasive man and I really enjoy his stuff. He was involved in a really interesting debate recently, which you can watch here if you're interested.

One of my favorite books of all time has to be The Elegance of the Hedgehog. It's sweet, sorrowful, erudite, beautifully written and translated (it's originally French), funny, heartbreaking and just very real. I can't recommend it enough. Muriel Barberry has another book out, called Gourmet Rhapsody, and it centers on one of the minor characters from The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I'd love a chance to read GR, because if it can even hold a candle to TEotH, I will be a very happy reader indeed.

Shameless plug: Leaves and Flowers. It's my baby, but I would read it even if it wasn't. I didn't write it, after all, I just put it together. (Speaking of L&F, I'm open for submissions again -I'll be posting about that soon. If you really really can't wait, leave a comment with your e-mail address and I'll get in touch with you). L&F features some incredible work by some absolutely fantastic people, and I am so privileged to have been part of it. It's a great gift for anyone who likes literary journals and off-beat stories.

God Hates You, Hate Him Back frankly just looks hilarious. I read the first chapter for free online (what a world we live in) and although I wasn't totally taken by the writing, the humor had me laughing, smirking and thinking. Oddly enough, at the time I opened the chapter to read, 3 of the tables directly around me were occupied by evangelicals attempting to convert fellow college students. I darkened my screen while I read because the campus crusaders or whatever they are at my school tend to be aggressive and obnoxious and I wasn't in the mood for a theological altercation (rare for me, but it happens).

The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman (who is one of my literary heroes, btw) won just about every available award this year. Aside from its accolades, it just looks like a kickass story. I am, right now, listening to Gaiman read it -you can listen to him read the entire book! I'm a visual person, so I'd rather read it than hear it, but hearing it is very awesome.

That's all I can think of right now (I'm tired, tired, tired), but any of these would make awesome Christmas gifts for the various readers in your life.

*If I get another tattoo, it will read habent sua fata libelli, which means 'books have their own fates' in Latin.